I have been delaying this review for a while now. I wanted to do the Strugatsky's justice but I just haven't been able to come up with anything intellI have been delaying this review for a while now. I wanted to do the Strugatsky's justice but I just haven't been able to come up with anything intelligent or witty to relate to you in honor of their work. All I can say is read the book, you won't regret it.
It starts off very symbolically with some kids playing on a one way street; this mirrors evolution and history. All these things flow in one direction and travel along with their own unalterable velocities. Now lets suppose that evolution follows a linear course. Every planet capable of housing life develops similar lifeforms as our Earth with the primates ultimately adapting into primitive versions of the human race. We superior humans, who have attained the pinnacle of perfection, ship some of our own off to these developing planets to observe and indirectly help speed along the progress of the various indigenous peoples.
And so the story begins. Anton is covertly trying to further the medieval age humans with his fellow comrades. They quickly discover that evolution does not come as easily to a people who aren't ready for it. If fact the social evolution of these alien civilizations worked in the opposite direction than they had initially thought. The ignorance and prejudices of the day work against them while the effects of culture shock begin mounting. After several years spent in vain Anton begins seeing the people as little more than savages fit for being abandoned or destroyed. His mental condition gently starts to deteriorate as he spends time in a vastly different environment than he is accustomed to. He yearns for his home planet but must fulfill his responsibility to the people. It truly is hard to be a god, he realizes.
One word. Seamless. The Strugatsky combo of Boris and Arkady is so dynamic and well-meshed that I had no idea when I made the transition from one writers work to then next. I have read many works written by dual authors and it has always been relatively simple to spot the parts where one author passed the pen to the other. Not so with Boris and Arkady! (Maybe it's solely a brother/sister thing) Another thing that I always find pleasing is the structure of the sentences in stories originally written in Russian. There was something distinct added to the story when long flowing sentences were used to depict the thoughts of the author. I find this to generally be the sign of talented Russians writers.
Final Summation: I promise you'll like this book. If you don't it's short so you won't hate me too much.
Alright, so after some thought I'm finally ready to consolidate my thoughts on this novel.
This books follows the character Meursault and shows us hisAlright, so after some thought I'm finally ready to consolidate my thoughts on this novel.
This books follows the character Meursault and shows us his perverse and somehow refreshing outlook on life. He is completely disinterested in things that social life revolves around like marriage, elevations of status, etc... in essence he is the ultimate nonchalant bum. His life is hollow but he is utterly unconcerned with this and goes on quietly existing in the most comfortable way possible. His is a nihilist outlook on life and he has lost the innate sense for humanity necessary for co-existence. This is to say he concerns himself with only primal pleasures and other worldly necessities; he not only ignores the people around him but is oblivious to their needs. The ending was the most powerful part of the book and while Meursault's frenzied thoughts reel inside his head he is finally revealed to be a person who not only doesn't cares for others but ceases to care for himself.
I left this book extremely impressed with Camus's commentary on nihilism. It appears that humanity still has its sense of meaning intact and can even appreciate a bleak portrait for its beauty....more
To all those people who missed out learning about the Armenian genocide in school because of the US's trade with Turkey, this is for you. Educate yourTo all those people who missed out learning about the Armenian genocide in school because of the US's trade with Turkey, this is for you. Educate yourself. The story is about a family that is torn apart as the killing begins; you are thrust in the midst of one of the most forgotten and gruesome genocides in history. The writing is engaging enough to keep you reading as you follow the survival of the boy Vahan through the pages. Though it is rather gory this book is easily one of the best historical fictions I have ever read....more